A Students Guide to Cooking – When Mammy arrives for a visit.

Eventually it’s going to happen. Somewhere amongst the drunken debauchery, the lying to your friends about all the great random sex, you agree to let your mother come to visit. Odds are you were drunk when you thought it would be a good idea. It’s possible that she was too, after all she agreed to it. But regardless she’s coming, and you live in pestilence, with a scar from where a fork was embedded in your skull.

This is it D-Day. The invasion is imminent. Your housemates have made themselves scarce. The place is as tidy as it’s ever going to be, by which I mean everyone has shoved what their own stuff in the doors, and onto the floors of their respective rooms.  The place has been hoovered, though of course it would have been more successful if the bag hadn’t exploded mid-job. Even the windows were shown the clean side of a tea towel, which wonder of wonders was then put in the laundry basket, and not simply used as a bath towel, before being further used to dry the washing up.

And yet you have this sense of dread. Like you’ve forgotten something. Almost as if a recollection from a drunken suggestion was rising up to haunt your present…

Oh shit you promised you’d cook for her!

Well, panic not, Auntie Amanda is here to help you  survive this disaster, just as she has so many others in the past. So shall we begin?

First of all this is called a chicken.

This also comes in a pre-deaded form. (image via http://www.cheapeats.ie)

You are probably more aware of its existence as the filling in a chicken nugget. But it also comes in a body shaped form wrapped in plastic. Well. today this is your best friend.

  1. Run screaming out of your house, and head immediately to the nearest supermarket.
  2. Run screaming back home to this time bring your wallet.
  3. In the meat aisle find, and then purchase one whole uncooked chicken.
  4. Do not be tempted to buy a pre-cooked one, and then pretend that it’s your own work. Mammy will know what you’ve done, and the gods will punish you.
  5. Bring it home.
  6. Try to refrain from having a shot of something to steady your nerves. This will only lead to trouble later when your mother accuses you of a drinking problem.
  7. Switch on the oven and pre-heat it. If the oven is of the typical caliber available in student housing turn it the whole way up. It still probably won’t be hot enough.
  8. Take the chicken out of the packaging. This is an important step as nothing ruins the flavour of a roast chicken like a layer of melted in plastic.
  9. Run fresh tap water,  through its body cavity.
  10. Check inside with your hands to see if there’s a plastic bag filled with internal organs inside.
  11. Complain loudly at how revolting having a hand inside a dead chicken that was.
  12. Put the chicken in a baking tray.
  13. Chop up an onion, and place it around the chicken.
  14. Take two of the rashers you were saving for dinner during the week, and put it over the chicken.
  15. Cover the chicken with some of the tin foil one of your more interesting housemates wears as a hat to stop the government from reading his mind. I would suggest you use a fresh piece, and not one which comes pre-greased from his hair.
  16. Put the chicken in the oven.
  17. Take a deep breath, you’re half way there.
  18. Peel some vegetables. You know the green, white, and orange, phallus shaped things in the fridge. The ones that you’ve been avoiding since you arrived at university.
  19. Coat them with oil, and place on a separate oven tray.
  20. After the chicken has been in the oven for an hour, put the vegetables in also.
  21. Now run a comb through your hair, make sure you’re at least somewhat clean, and answer the door to your poor mother. She’s freezin’ out there.

Now here is where you’re either made, and will forever more be known as her favourite child. Or you could alternatively end up being taken out of her will. It all depends on whether the chicken you bought was frozen or not…

  1. The chicken was thawed.
  2. It cooked perfectly.
  3. The vegetables were delicious.
  4. Your mother thinks you’re the best daughter/son in the world.
  5. You can relax.

However…

  1. If the chicken was frozen, you will serve your mother cold, semi-thawed meat. She will taste it, and then look at you as if you are worse than every war-criminal in history.
  2. Since you can’t face serving her a plate of Detonated Potato, you will be forced to take her out for dinner. Thus wiping out your drinking money for the month.
  3. Later you will also be forced to accompany her to the hospital when she develops a severe case of botulism.
  4. You will then hear her scream at the top of her lungs, “I have no son/daughter!” as goo flies from both ends of her body simultaneously.
  5. You will be removed from her will, have all family sourced financial aid stopped, wind up on the street, and be found with your face gnawed off by rats.

So no stress, it’s just a visit from mom.

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